OK...SO THIS IS MY FIRST UPDATE SINCE BANGKOK....PRETTY BAD i KNOW, BUT I HAVE JUST BEEN SO BUSY WITH ALL THIS TRAVELLING... SO HERE GOES: Me and Phil both completed our PADI open water scuba diving course, so we are officially fully qualified to scuba dive without an instructor up to the depth of 18 metres: we saw some really cool marine life diving at 18metres- it was well cool: I finally finished panicking underwater- cos at first I was struggling to breathe naturally- it just seemed far too wierd being able to breathe underwater! but once I got the hang of it I was fine. I also purchased a copy of the dvd of our last dive (it cost like thirty pounds!! which is very expensive for Thailand) and I am gonna post it home as soon as I get chance and find a post office: so u can watch it and see how me and Phil got on: the dvd is pretty gud actually: its well put together! and u can really see how much fun we all had completing our last 2 dives... it was such great fun! The last day we had on Ko Tao, me and Phil took ourselves off to Shark Bay, where all the black tip finned sharks come to feed at like 4.45-5pm and we were told if we go snorkelling around there at that time- we were guaranteed to see some sharks- so thats what we did and we both saw like 4-5 sharks and were swimming so so so close to them: if we were to put out our hand to toich em we cud have (obviously we didnt tho), but that was a truly overwhelming experience! It was amazing (yet quite scary all the same), but they were not phased by us at all, which was so cool. Then we left Ko Tao for Koh Phangan for the full moon party: but me and Phil caught a taxi into Hat Rin (the party beach on the island: swarming with just travellers really) and went on the piss wiv these 2 american girls: Brooke and Ashley, who were pretty cool and stayed out until like 4am in the morn drinking cocktail buckets, so the nxt day: i stayed in bed all day being sick (i think that was a combination of the booze and the dodgy food that we had eaten), and then we had to do it all again the nxt night. So we went back to Hat Rin for the 'Full moon party', which is basically a world-known festival where ppl come from all over the world just to rave all night long on the beach! (not really my cup of tea- but just went along for the experience really!). But I met up with some guy from Peterborough and was with him most of the night, while Phil went off to dance- it was nice to meet someone from back home to be honest who lived relatively near to us! But Phil dicked off for the taxi at about 6am in the morn and just made it- but I got lost cos cudnt remember where we had been dropped off, and there were loadsa police roaming around with guns (but they looked more like army soldiers). So I went to ask for help: (cos we were staying like 40mins away from Hat Rin, so i needed to get a taxi back) and the police were no help whatsoever: so I went to ask a load of Thai ppl sat in little grotti bus station if I could use their toilet: and they were all staring at me and just talking thai, THE TOILET WAS GROSS AND ME AND phil had to check out of our accomodation for 10am (it was now like 8am in the morn and no- taxi would take me back) so I came out of the worse toilet Ive ever been in and just sat there and cried: this very nice lady came over to me and rubbed my arm: and then a thai taxi driver said to me: "you where yuo go?" "I take u there for 200 baht" (which was actually the correct price- so he didnt try to rip me off!) and I actually got back safe and sound, to find Phil lolling it up- swimming in the sea!! I was so annoyed he had left me- but he thought I had gone back wothout him and he was worried about what he wud do if i didnt get back in time: but I made it back in 1 piece, and it certainly was an experience I wont forget in a while! Anyway: we managed to leave Koh Pangyan in 1 piece and then headed for the last of the three islands to: Ko Sumai. That was OK, I wasnt overly impressed as I was with the other islands, but it was still beautiful all the same: our accomodation was very nice- a little bit too luxuorious for us to say the least! But the first few days were recovery days from the full-moon party. I met up with a girl from Australia one evening wen Phil went to see Thai boxing on his own (which he didnt get to see because he forgot his money) and she was very nice, she was 33 and had been travelling around Europe and had worked in the UK for 6mnths pf her trip: and was due tpo leave for home very soon- she has invited me to Oz anytime I wanna go, she sed i can stay with her- so theres an option i can consider. We went to a National Marine park trip on one of our days in Koh Samui, which was fantastic- we went Kayaking around the caves and went to 2 different deserted beaches, which have been preserved and kept desolate due to the natural beauty and marine life that lives there! It was truly amazing! I went snorkelling and saw some cool fish, whilst Phil climbewd a mountain for like 2 hrs , just to see the view from the top and then took another hr to get back down. My legs were red raw from sun burn that day: as I fell to sleep on top of the sun deck of the boat on our way back! So I was suffering for days from that! But I am completely brown now: loving the tan (Phil reckons he is far browner than me- but theres no way: even the locals have commented on how white he looks considering we've been here nearly 4weeks now). We are currently in Krabi: which is absolutely amazing- it is where they shot the scene from one of the James Bond movies and the beach: but we havent been to see them. We went on a boat trip yesterday to see four remote islands: one of which looked like a chicken! and literally we just swam, relaxed and snorkelled on each of the four beaches, which was really cool. Today we have had another relaxing day: just chilling at our resort, supping on banana shakes, and taking it steady- cos tomorrow we have both booked in to miss Ya's Thai cookery course- where we wil get to cook like 7thai dishes each: and everything u cook you eat- so thats gud! That shud be gud fun and then hopefully wen I get back I can cook u all a lovely red/green thai curry or summing! lol Thats about all we have done so far (I say all, it seems so much more when you are actually experiencing it): we have been getting about on the islands via motorbikes, which u hire out for the day: they take ur passport and if ya crash it , you dont get it back until u have paid for the repairs! At first I was s***ting myself cos the roads here are so mad: literally they dont signal at all, if they wanna turn or take pver they just beep their horns to let ya know: its due to the fact that the religion here is mainly Buddism, so all Thais basically believe in the Karma Philosophy: if something bad is to happen it will! (which is pretty mad! But we have both found if ya go with the flow, relax and dont expect too much: then everything will be fine!!) Also we have found that there is Thai time and then there is the rest of the world's time, and the thais are slightly behind every1 else: for instance they saw they will pick u up at a particular time, and then u can guarantee ur possibly gonna be waiting at least half an hour of not longer: so be prepared to wait if ya ever wanna go somewhere: and always always arrange and book in advance of where ya wanna go....(just a word of warning) I have enjoyed Thailand so so so much: me and Phil actually depart on the 22nd March via slow boat on the Mekong into Loas (to Luang Phrabang) which will take us like 3days via slow boat!! which should be totally awesome. But my travels in and around Thailand have provided me with something so much more: the fact that whilst u are in paradise: living, eating and breathing on the same planet- the rest of the world are back home doing what they hate everyday...that is working to live: here in Thailand, just to live and work out here would be a truly amazing experience: so much so that I have decided to look into staying out here at the end of my trip to teach English: the wages are pretty gud, u pay hardly any tax (compared to the UK) and everything is so god damn cheap and I mean dirt cheap (its like a pound for a massive bottle of the local 'Chang" beer, which is like 6.4% proof!! BARGAIN). I have been speaking to lots of other travellers who have done the same thing and they have definately recommended it: theres a massive shortage of English Teachers out here, and if you have a degree (in any subject) then u can do it. I may have to do a little course 1st off, but thats OK...But this is merely something that I am thinking of at the moment: nothing definate! But I think I have definately gotta give it some serious thought! Anyway thats all for now folks...(Hope that I havent bored ya too much)...will try to update ASAP: but the next stop is to Chang Mai: and to get there we have to take the 'night train' firstly to Bangkok and then again to Chang Mai, taking at least 2-3 days: So will have to see how it goes and update when I can!